Border Guard uncovers suspected counterfeit documents ring

Fake passports and ID cards were sold in Finland via social media, according to the agency.

File photo of woman holding passport. Image: AOP

Finland's Border Guard said it suspects that an organised crime group has been producing and selling counterfeit passports, ID cards and driver's licenses online and sold to people on social media sites.

The agency reported that at least two men from Cameroon and one Finnish woman participated in the counterfeit group's activities.

One of the men, the main suspect, lives in Finland while the other is thought to reside in Cameroon. The Border Guard said that the woman had arranged money transfers related to the counterfeiting, along with the man in Finland.

A dozen cases

The agency said the main suspect is linked to at least 12 cases in which counterfeit documents were sold. The man's phone allegedly included data and photos related to four different fake documents.

The head of the investigation, border guard captain Ville Mihl said the online sale of fake personal documentation is a growing crime.

"I'm certain that papers such as these, no matter the quality, are more in demand now," Mihl said. "People who sell forged papers have realised the internet is a good place to sell their wares," he said.

The Southwestern Border Guard investigated the group along with the National Bureau of Investigation. This is the first time that the Border Guard has investigated illegal document sales on the internet as part of a pretrial investigation.

That probe is reportedly concluded and the Prosecutor's Office of Western Finland will decide whether to press charges in the case.